Stuco Accepts Silver at M.A.S.C.


Student Council members pose for a picture at M.A.S.C.

Peter Hoegler


Student Council members pose for a picture at M.A.S.C.

The Walpole High Student Council was rewarded with the “Silver Council of Excellence Reward” at the Massachusetts Association of Student Councils Conference on March 9 in Hyannis, Massachusetts for their exemplary commitment and contribution to their school and community. Last year, the Student Council obtained recognition at this conference as members of the “Council of Excellence” — a recognition that distinguished Walpole Student Council as one of the top groups in the state.  However, this recognition was somewhat of a disappointment to the Walpole students, for they had higher hopes of attaining a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award, which are reserved for the top three Councils in the state.  Thus, achieving Silver for their accomplishments signifies that the council has considerably grown since Ms. Kerry Mcmenimen took over the advisor position just five years ago.

The Massachusetts Association of Student Councils (or  M.A.S.C.) is comprised of member schools representing the four regional student councils of Massachusetts: the Southeast, Central District, Northeast, and Western Councils (SEMASC, CDMASC, NEMASC, and WMASC). Providing one of the nation’s most highly regarded programs of activities for middle schools and high schools, the conference offers major opportunity for students to learn and apply leadership skills.

Lead by President Riche Bernache of Rockland High School and an entire executive board of senior leaders throughout the state, M.A.S.C. provides the top Student Councils in Massachusetts an opportunity to showcase their principal leaders and ideas. They presented the WHS Council with successful leadership workshops, inspirational sessions, and keynote speakers that included Judson Laipply—renowned dancer from the show Tosh.0, Bob Upgren—an NBA consulter, and Chris Herren—a former Celtic from Fall River, Massachusetts. Ms. Mac said in regards to the overall conference, “It was certainly better than last year’s conference. Paul Branagan, the director of the conference, did a nice job with the choice of keynote speakers and workshop activities.”

On the final day of the conference, the Student Council was rewarded with Silver for their overall council excellence—a goal that was implanted from day one of the Student Council meetings. Although the council fared one point shy of achieving gold, the mood of the Stu-co delegates sustained its radiant feel.  Student Council President Christina Freiberger said of the accomplishment, “Winning silver council of excellence was a big accomplishment for us, despite our original goal for gold, which we missed by one point. Our council was recognized and participated a lot more than last year.”

Additionally, senior Jackie Reilly succeeded in winning the “2012 MASC Program Cover Design” and was rewarded for her attainment at the concluding banquet.  The program was distributed to each delegate and advisor; therefore, over 1,000 students were able to see and appreciate Jackie’s work. The cover reads: “Order Up a Leader, MASC” with a red background and a white cooking hat on its side. She spent countless hours working on this cover, which made her award even more exciting.  Jackie said, “It was kinda cool to see my design on over 1,200 program booklets. That is what I hope to do in the future with my career.”

This year, WHS Student Council sent sixteen delegates—thirteen of whom were upperclassmen and three were lowerclassmen. Sophomore CJ Weinacht, one of the few underclassmen to attend, said, “It was a great experience—I learned a lot about becoming a better leader. I just hope I can share my experience with other people by bringing back what I have learned to Walpole High.”

The activities, fundraisers, and community events that have been fostered and run by the 2011-2012 WHS Student Council have rightfully led to this highly coveted Silver Council of Excellence Award. These events include the pep–rally, the spirit week, the hypnotist show, the Date Auction, the gift wrapping; the list goes on and on.  But one aspect remains to be certain: although student leaders will mature and graduate, Ms. Mac will continue to advise, and thus, the Walpole Student Council as a whole will continue to grow and develop into a gold-medal-caliber group.